Next James Bond Henry Cavill hopes shaken by two major blows

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The race to replace Daniel Craig as James Bond didn’t just start when his incarnation of the British secret agent made the definitive exit (in many small pieces) on the receiving end of a missile. The frenzied speculation actually started back in 2015 when Craig gave the impression he might not be returning to the role after SPECTRE. Initial hot favourites Idris Elba, Tom Hiddleston and Tom Hardy have all slowly slipped out of contention, while Henry Cavill slowly and steadily surged out in front. He was also the second choice behind Craig back in 2005 and has openly spoken in the last few years of his hopes for a second chance.

The clock has been ticking for Cavill, however, as for everyone. Idris Elba will turn 51 this year, and Tom Hardy 46.

Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and her half-brother Michael G Wilson have only stated so far that they will be looking for a British actor, that the character will remain male but could be of any ethnicity. However, reports out of Hollywood also indicated the search would be refined to actors over 5’10 in height and under 40 in age.

Cavill has been solidly at the top of UK bookies odds for the past couple of years but the latest odds from Coral reveal he has very serious competition.

Coral spokesman John Hill told Express Online: “Henry Cavill and Aaron Taylor-Johnson continue to be heavily linked to being the next James Bond. The two men tick all the right boxes for the role, so it is no surprise they are both attracting strong support in our betting.”

In fact, Cavill is no longer clear out in front, now sharing odds of 5/2 with the 32-year-old Bullet Train actor.

The latest odds also have James Norton on 11/4, Bridgerton’s Regé-Jean Page on 8/1 and Tom Hardy on 9/1. Jack Lowden is on 10/1 with Poldark’s Aidan Turner on 16/1.

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Cavill’s position may look strong. After all, he has recently shed the two major commitments in his career – Superman and The Witcher. He has firmly established himself as adept at light-hearted scripts (The Man From UNCLE) as gritty action roles (Mission Impossible).

However, he turns 40 this year and any actor who takes on Bond will potentially need to commit for up to ten years in the role. Originally, it was expected that the machinery would spring back into action once No Time To Die had finished its theatrical run, with many expecting news late last year or early this year.

However, in February Broccoli gave a brief but pointed update about the speculation over who they might be considering for the role: “No, we haven’t even started casting yet. There isn’t even a script.”

Added to this, casting director Debbie McWilliams also recently told Radio Times: “There’s no conversation being had at the moment.

“Barbara Broccoli has been heavily involved in other projects. You know, it’s not unusual for there to be quite a big gap between different Bonds, it has been known to have a five-year gap. So, no, nothing.”

A five-year gap from No Time To Die would leave Cavill turning 43, while Taylor-Johnson would still only be 36.It’s suddenly looking like it might be No Time for Henry Cavill after all…

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